09 January 2010

could we actually do it all?

The biggest part of planning out a potential bathroom(s) and/or kitchen remodel is budget planning. And because we've never done this before, that means making a list of everything we would need to buy or pay someone to do, and then research what the potential range of costs would be. After figuring out the low end and reasonable high end, we ask ourselves, "Can we afford to do this project this year?"

And right now, we're in that scary zone where it looks like we could possibly do both baths and the kitchen this year, if we do them reasonably (meaning: inexpensive fixtures, fairly low-priced appliances and Ikea cabinetry -- not quite Design on a Dime corner-cutting, but nothing luxurious). It's scary because, 1) we don't want to live in a renovation zone all year, with projects back-to-back, and 2) these things will certainly have cost overruns (we've both done enough client work to know that one is foolish to expect the budget to stay completely intact), meaning that we would almost certainly be obligating ourselves to larger expenses than we might expect now.... HOW much larger is the question.

Also, though I would be thrilled to redo both bathrooms, especially the pink one, Mark rightly points out that a new kitchen would be a lot more exciting. And perhaps that's what's behind this... a desire to have the fun project done, rather than just having the affordable ones done.

In the spirit of optimism, we've started mapping out what a new kitchen might look like, and a vision is emerging.

This plan would give us one extra set of upper and lower cabinets beyond what we have now, a bigger, more functional pantry, and a some open shelving to open up the room visually and give us more display space. The flipside is that it would cut into the eat-in area slightly, but not enough to make the space unusable. (There will be a matter, though, of where to put the wine fridge. Oh, who am I kidding? Wine fridges.)

This is still in the pipe dream stage, but we're already looking at things like getting an apron-front sink so that we can buy two slabs of countertop and use the sink to camouflage the joint rather than buying a much more expensive 11-foot slab. And we're starting to look in earnest at examples of dark lower cabinets and white uppers, so we know if the vision I have for the room works in other settings.

If I didn't know better, I would say I'm letting myself get attached to this idea. Perhaps this weekend's trip to crowded, chaotic Ikea will smack it out of me.

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